It is a great pleasure to join you today to discuss progress on SDG7 and explore policy options to accelerate its achievement.
The current COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the inequalities that exist in our communities. With those most vulnerable also suffering the most.
Our common task of achieving the 2030 Agenda and leaving no one behind has never been more urgent and necessary.
We must act decisively to build back greener, to combat climate disruption and environmental destruction.
This means aligning our recovery efforts with the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
We cannot tackle these global crises without a global response.
Universal access to clean, affordable and modern energy services is an important part of leaving no one behind.
This has become even more evident in the context of COVID-19.
In many countries, electricity access has been a crucial element of the response to the pandemic by governments and communities alike.
A clean energy transition can help us simultaneously achieve our goals on the SDGs and climate change.
It can reduce emissions, strengthen resilience, and fuel economic recovery through innovation and creating new jobs.
This in turn contributes to achieving other vital goals on poverty reduction and the empowerment of women.
But if our efforts are to be impactful, it is fundamental that our actions be guided by data.
With accurate data, we can understand the complexity of the challenges we face, and identify the most appropriate policy solutions in support of a clean energy transition.
It can also illuminate the interlinkages between SDG7 and the realisation of many other SDGs.
This is why I welcome this timely launch of the Energy Progress report and the SDG7 Policy Briefs.
I congratulate the SDG7 indicator custodian agencies – under the chairmanship of IRENA – on their collaboration to deliver a new edition of the SDG7 Energy Progress Report.
And I wish to commend the outstanding work of the multi-stakeholder SDG7 Technical Advisory Group.
The reports launched today show how much we can achieve by working together in a coordinated manner.
And I anticipate they will also inform our discussions at the High Level Political Forum this year.
I thank the co-hosts for convening this meeting and look forward to our continued engagement on this critical issue.